In a game between the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild on Sunday, Red Wings forward was given a double minor penalty for a high stick on Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon. High sticks are part of the game of hockey and more often than not they are accidental. Even so, accidental high sticks that draw blood are given double minor penalties.
This particular incident is a lot different than an accidental high stick. After watching the video of the incident it is apparent and evident that there was malicious intent on Nyquist’s part. Nyquist clearly knew what he was doing when he turned towards Spurgeon, wound up his stick and hit his directly in the face with the blade of his own stick.
This kind of malicious intent is what the NHL needs to weed out of the game, its what causes serious injury and harm to the league’s players. Unlike an ordinary high stick, this incident has much more force behind it.
The NHL has announced that they are scheduling an in person hearing with Nyquist regarding the incident, which is the past has meant a lengthy suspension as opposed to an over the phone hearing. In my own opinion the NHL should suspend Nyquist for somewhere around 8-10 games, with this being an malicious as it was, it deserves a longer than usual suspension period. I’m curious to see what the NHL’s decision will be since this type of offence isn’t seen to much, in recent years player hearings center around head shots and late hits, not too many high sticking calls. Not to mention, Nyquist hasn’t been a particularly dirty player as I can’t recall him being suspended before, so the fact that he is not a repeat offender may play into the amount of games he receives.
The NHL needs to do the right thing in this situation and not take into account his prior disciplinary history, and suspend him the adequate amount of games for the offence. The fact of the matter is, Nyquist could have taken out Spurgeon’s eye, and that is completely unacceptable.